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How to Make a Log Cabin Quilt Block – the April Quilt Block of the Month

I’m excited to announce that the featured block for April is a Log Cabin Quilt Block.

Free Quilt Tutorial and Pattern for a Log Cabin Quilt block; the April Block of the Month offered on the Polka Dot Chair Blog

This is block #8 of 12.  This block is constructed a little bit differently than the blocks in the previous months, but don’t stress, I walk you through all of the steps.

Free Quilt Tutorial and Pattern for a Log Cabin Quilt block; the April Block of the Month offered on the Polka Dot Chair Blog

I love this block, it may be one of my favorites so far.  I think that it’s one of those blocks that helps to tie all of the other ones together.  My block features 7 different fabrics. One center main “focal” fabric and 6 different fabrics in two colors.

Quilt Block of the Month series on polkadotchair.com - create a quilt in 12 easy steps!

UPDATE: You can now purchase a PDF with ALL of the block instructions for each month in one place!! Click here to PURCHASE

If you’re playing along be sure to share your finished blocks on social media with the hashtag #PolkaDotChairBlocks (if you have a private IG account, hashtags won’t work for you, so share it to my Facebook instead) , I’m on Instagram as @Polkadotchair or you can also share it right to my Facebook Page (you can post a photo over there)

If you missed it be sure to check out this post on Quilt Block Construction Tips.  You can find an index to all the posts in this quilt block series to date by clicking here.

Free Quilt Tutorial and Pattern for a Log Cabin Quilt block; the April Block of the Month offered on the Polka Dot Chair Blog - So many cute quilt block ideas!

About Log Cabin Quilt Blocks:

Log Cabin blocks are usually constructed with all of the “light” fabric on one side and all of the “dark” fabric on another side.  When you do that and put a bunch of blocks together in a quilt really cool things happen.

This block from the Diary of a Quilter blog is actually 4 log cabin blocks sewn together. Look closely and you can spot the pattern. Pretty cool huh!

Log Cabin Quilt Block - love the Modern Style

The block we will make this month won’t give us the same optical illusion, but since this series is designed to teach you to make a large variety of quilt blocks, I thought you’d still enjoy making one. You can venture out on your own if you like and make some quilts with really cool designs.

There are a few ways to construct a Log Cabin block, I like to use a “cheater” way. It involves more trimming but the math is a thousand times easier and it leaves you some room to make a mistake.

Things to Know Before you Start:

When you’re making this block you want to be sure to only PRESS your seams, don’t iron them. If you move the iron back and forth you’ll distort your lines and end up with a wonky block (which can be really cool in itself).  My block is not perfect but I’m okay with that.

Free Quilt Tutorial and Pattern for a Log Cabin Quilt block; the April Block of the Month offered on the Polka Dot Chair Blog

How to Make a Log Cabin Quilt Block:

Yields One 14 1/2″ x 14 1/2″ Finished Size Quilt Block:

To make this block you’ll need:

(note: Keep the colors the same but you can vary the prints within each color, for example my block has pink and white strips but each one is a different print).

1 piece 4 x 4 for center square

1 piece 2 1/4″ x 5″ of COLOR A

1 piece 2 1/4″ x 7″ of COLOR A

1 piece 2 1/4″ x 7″ of COLOR B

1 piece 2 1/4″ x 9″ of COLOR  A

1 piece 2 1/4″ x 9″ of COLOR B

1 piece 2 1/4″ x 11″ of COLOR A

1 piece 2 1/4″ x 11″ of COLOR B

1 piece 2 1/4″ x 13″ of COLOR B

2 pieces 3″ x 16″ of COLOR A

2 pieces 3″ x 16″ of COLOR B

As I mentioned before, this is a “cheater” way of constructing a block that involves more trimming but less math.  It’s also more forgiving if you cut one of your pieces too short.

As you work on the Log Cabin Block, note two things:

1- Don’t get over zealous with the trimming, just trim the piece even.

2- Press between each step.

3- Always stitch right sides together.

Okay, lets start.

Step One:

Free Quilt Tutorial and Pattern for a Log Cabin Quilt block; the April Block of the Month offered on the Polka Dot Chair Blog

Stitch one 2 1/4″ x 5″ strip to the top of your 4″ x 4″ square. Press seam to one side.  Trim excess fabric off.

Step Two:

Free Quilt Tutorial and Pattern for a Log Cabin Quilt block; the April Block of the Month offered on the Polka Dot Chair Blog

Stitch your 2 1/4″ x 7″ strip of fabric A to the left side of the 4″ x 4″ square.  Press seam to one side and trim.

Step Three:

Free Quilt Tutorial and Pattern for a Log Cabin Quilt block; the April Block of the Month offered on the Polka Dot Chair Blog

Step Four:

Stitch your 2 1/4″ x 7″ strip of fabric B to the bottom of the 4″ x 4″ square. Press seam to one side and trim.

Free Quilt Tutorial and Pattern for a Log Cabin Quilt block; the April Block of the Month offered on the Polka Dot Chair Blog

Step Five:

Stitch your 2 1/4″ x 9″ strip of fabric B to the right side of the square. Press seam to one side. Trim.

Keep doing this going in a counter clockwise direction.

The last 4 strips you sew to the block will each be 3″ wide.

Layout Example ONLY; these are not the measurements of the finished block; just where the strips lay out as you sew.
Layout Example ONLY; these are not the measurements of the finished block; just where the strips lay out as you sew.

After you’ve sewn all of your strips to the block, trim the block to 15″ x 15″.

That’s it you’re done!

Just a quick reminder: This project along with ALL of the other projects on this blog are offered to you for free. The only thing that I ask is that you do not use them for any commercial purpose.  If you have a shop, this is not meant to be a program for you to use in your store. It’s meant to help build the online community of people who all LOVE quilting.  Please respect that so that I can go on sharing these projects for everyone.  

Free Quilt Tutorial and Pattern for a Log Cabin Quilt block; the April Block of the Month offered on the Polka Dot Chair Blog

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9 Comments

  1. I love your block. Living in Wisconsin I haven’t been able to get my hands on your fabric. I fell in love with it soak still trying to find it…?

    1. Patti Hook…..I purchased Melissa’s beautiful fabric through a website called Hawthorne Threads. They are out of New York state and their shipping is very reasonable. Good luck.

  2. Hi Melissa:
    I am looking at the block tutorial as you have described it/illustrated it and I see/count 2 sets of 4 strips going around the center block before the last 3″ wide strips are sewn on to complete the square. But in looking at the list of strips to cut for this I only count 7 strips 2 1/2 ” wide……so the measurement for one strip is missing? Can you tell me what length that strip should be (I’m thinking it should be 2 1/2 X 5″?)

    I love the patterns of the squares and am thinking of a quilt using repetitions of 3-4 of the square styles.

    Also, I may need to cut the center square 5.5 inches…..what would that do to the length of the surrounding strips?

    Thank you

    1. Let me check … I’m just home today from a cruise, I’ll need to do some math if you want the center block larger..

    2. I’ve fixed it, the strip that is missing is one cut from COLOR B and should be 2 1/2″ x 13″ … sorry, just skipped that line from my notebook when I was typing!

    1. I’m just home from being away for a week, I’ve sewn the block 3 times, so I know the measurements are right, maybe there is a typo, I’ll double check it today.

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